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Qatar Petroleum/Sasol Partnership Awards $675 Million EPC Contract

Source: 1/30/2003, Location: Middle East

Doha, January 30, 2003 - Construction of the world’s largest and most advanced natural gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant is set to commence following today’s announcement by partners Qatar Petroleum and Sasol that a $675 million engineering, procurement and construction contract (EPC) has been awarded to Technip-Coflexip of Italy.

The facility named Oryx GTL Limited (Q.S.C.) is based at Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar, where the largest single natural gas resource in the world is located. The facility will yield 34,000 barrels of gas-to-liquid fuels a day.

Qatar Petroleum and Sasol of South Africa are sole partners in the development of the US$900 million Oryx GTL facility. The Sasol Slurry Phase Distillate (SPD) process will be used to convert the natural gas into premium, environmentally friendly fuels by late 2005. The Sasol SPD technology is based on the Sasol Slurry Phase Fischer-Tropsh process and catalyst, Haldor Tops?e's Autothermal Reforming and ChevronTexaco’s Isocracking.

The EPC contract with Technip-Coflexip also includes responsibility for the start-up and initial operation of the plant up to the performance test phase. The construction phase is expected to be completed within three years. The facility’s front-end engineering and design (FEED) package was prepared by Foster Wheeler UK.

Announcing the EPC contract, His Excellency Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Minister of Energy and Industry, Chairman of Qatar Petroleum and Chairman of Oryx GTL, said the project will spearhead Qatar’s aspiration to become the GTL capital of the world.

“We have worked hard in partnership with Sasol to lay the commercial foundations of a new industry, and I believe that GTL will be a vital component of the global fuel mix of the future. Oryx GTL is a strong foundation that will be built upon in the years to come,” His Excellency, Minister Al-Attiyah said.

Sasol Chief Executive Pieter Cox said “Sasol has amassed vast expertise in developing competitive proprietary process technology and its SPD process will be one of the prime drivers to secure future growth for the group. Oryx GTL spearheads Sasol’s global gas-to-liquid strategy which is geared towards creating a substantial business in the next decade along with a number of international business partners.”

Patrick Davies, Executive Director of Sasol Limited said, “We share Qatar's determination to develop a successful global GTL industry. Sasol’s technology is highly competitive and is generally acknowledged as the world leader in this regard.”

Oryx GTL will use approximately 330 million cubic feet per day of lean natural gas from Qatar's North Field which holds an estimated 900 trillion cubic feet of proven reserves. The Sasol SPD process will convert the natural gas to synthesis gas, which in turn will be converted into waxy synthetic crude before being upgraded to premium fuels and products through hydro processing technology.

The facility will produce 24,000 bl/day of diesel, 9,000 bl/day of naphtha and 1,000 bl/day of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The markets that offer the most potential for these products are Singapore, Japan and Europe.

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